Al Baraka Bank Makes Winter A Little More Bearable For The Vulnerable In Informal Settlements - Durban

11 July 2022
The onset of Winter heralds a battle of survival for South Africa’s homeless and those low-income families living indoors but suffering scarce resources and a lack of effective heating.

For many, the cold creates a Winter wonderland, but for this country’s vulnerable communities lacking the comfort of a warm home, this is a time of fear and extreme concern about hypothermia, prompting Al Baraka Bank to again launch its annual blanket drive.

Mr Ebrahim Hassan, Al Baraka Bank's Regulatory Executive, said of the latest drive to help the vulnerable: "As winter tightens its grip on the nation, this becomes a time of very real fear for many homeless individuals.”

“Equally at risk are low-income families and individuals with scarce resources, living in charity-run shelters or in rudimentary and informal dwellings. Many living indoors still find themselves suffering from extreme cold weather conditions. Resisting the effects that the harsh weather our Winters bring is almost impossible.“

In an effort to make a difference in the lives of some, Al Baraka Bank rolled-out its 2022 Winter Blanket Drive by partnering with several Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs), which undertook – on behalf of the Bank – the distribution of almost 1 000 warm blankets to the needy living in informal settlements in three regions across the country.

“The need is immense and we believe as a Bank, we have a moral responsibility to contribute to – in a small way – meeting that need, assisting the destitute in the knowledge that, at this time of year, many other organisations also initiate blanket provision endeavours,” he added.

In Durban, Al Baraka Bank – working in conjunction with the Darul Ihsan Humanitarian Centre – ensured the provision of some 275 blankets to the needy utilising the RK Khan HIV/AIDS Clinic (150) and Thembilihle Care Centre (125).

In Gauteng, a further 275 bank-sponsored blankets were distributed by the Roshnee Feeding Scheme to the vulnerable in the Ramaphosa Informal Settlement, while another 275 blankets were handed out in Cape Town’s Kampies Informal Settlement by the Fusion Inyameko Foundation on behalf of the Bank.

“Regrettably, poverty is rife in South Africa and the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant economic slump is exacerbating the situation, driving increasing numbers of people into a life of destitution.”

“We all take the ability to create warmth for our families and ourselves for granted. In view of this, and as a Bank, we believe we have a humanitarian obligation to look to those who are unable to fend for themselves and to lend them a helping hand with an intervention designed to make Winter just a little bit more bearable.”

"We are most thankful to our NPO partners for ensuring that our blanket donations went to some of the most deserving people in the country, ensuring their ability to be a little warmer during the harshness of Winter,” said Mr Hassan.